News from our public relations team

Press releases

NHS Supply Chain goes on the road to get to the point of clinical safety

Tuesday 26 February 2013

NHS Supply Chain is running a series of national events throughout March to help NHS trusts prepare for the introduction of forthcoming legislation surrounding clinical sharps safety.
The events, which are free for NHS clinical staff to attend, will focus on raising awareness of EU Directive 2010/32/EU and the support available from NHS Supply Chain to help trusts implement changes to their clinical processes. Coming into force on 11 May, the Directive requires all trusts to have carried out a risk assessment of the potential for exposure to blood-borne infections by clinical staff and to have prepared an action plan for implementing improvements to processes and procedures that eliminate or reduce risk.

The events will also give clinical staff the chance to find out more about guidance published by the National Patient Safety Association (NPSA) to improve the safety of spinal injections and prevent accidental misadministration of epidural and intravenous medicines.

“The new Directive is a major step forward for improving health and safety amongst health care staff” explains Chris Littlejohn, Clinical Lead at NHS Supply Chain, who has led the development of the implementation support process.  “NHS Supply Chain can work with trusts to review their current position, carry out a comprehensive risk assessment, identify and plan for staff training needs and support product selection, ensuring a tailored approach for a smooth transition.”
Event delegates will have the opportunity to gain expert advice from NHS Supply Chain’s Clinical Nurse Advisors on effective implementation of the guidance, as well as discuss product and supply options with the business’ procurement and account management teams to provide a tailored and cost effective solution.

The events will also provide an opportunity for delegates to meet suppliers on NHS Supply Chain contracts and see product demonstrations to understand more about the options available.

For more information on NHS Supply Chain’s national events, or to register your interest, visit or email




Media enquiries:

Jayesha Mistry
07738 071 826

Tom Stone
07730 202 668

Joanna Morrison
07776 457 201

Notes to editors

About NHS Supply Chain

Follow us on Twitter: @NHSSupplyChain

NHS Supply Chain is operated by DHL as Agent of the NHS Business Services Authority. It supports the National Health Service (NHS) and other healthcare organisations in England and Wales by providing end to end supply chain solutions.

The organisation was formed in 2006 from the NHS Logistics Authority and parts of the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHS PASA). NHS Supply Chain aims to provide over £1 billion of savings to the NHS by 2016.

NHS Supply Chain manages the sourcing, delivery and supply of healthcare products and food for over 1,000 NHS trusts and healthcare organisations. It provides a single point of access to over 600,000 products ranging from bandages to sutures, from gloves to implants, and even diagnostic equipment such as MRI scanners.

Its management of the procurement process negates an NHS organisation’s need to tender through the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). Costs can also be reduced through its one-route solution that consolidates all products onto one invoice and delivery – this saves up to £1* per product in back office administration costs and removes up to 40 deliveries going into a trust compared with ordering goods separately. (*source: NHS Supply Chain 2009 value proposition study with Southampton NHS trust)

To ensure that its products are fit for today’s healthcare market, NHS Supply Chain works with suppliers of all sizes to ensure its range embraces high quality and innovative products; and engages with clinicians, the Department of Health and academic institutions to make sure that it is aware of the current requirements and latest developments in clinical practice.

NHS Supply Chain’s product areas include:

  • Theatres
  • Dental
  • Audiology
  • Catering, including food
  • Infection control
  • Orthopaedics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Capital equipment, including finance and maintenance.

Based in Alfreton, Derbyshire, UK, the business employs around 2,400 staff in ten locations.

EU Directive 2010/32/EU

EU Directive 2010/32/EU requires all NHS trusts to have carried out a risk assessment of the potential for exposure to blood-borne infections by clinical staff and prepared an action plan for implementing improvements to processes and procedures to eliminate or reduce risk.  NHS Supply Chain has developed an implementation process with support from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to help trusts in meeting the requirements of the new legislation.

NPSA Safer spinal (intrathecal), epidural and regional devices
The National Patient Safety Association has introduced guidance to improve the safety of spinal injections.  The guidance, divided into two parts, has been produced to prevent fatal clinical errors involving the misadministration of intravenous medicines through the spinal route, and epidural medicines through the intravenous route.  April 2013 will see the implementation of Part B of the guidance, requiring that all epidural, spinal and regional infusions and boluses be performed with devices using safety connectors that prevent accidental misuse.

Delivering value to the NHS